Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Possible Explanations

  1. Light was having a slow day.
  2. The c in E=mc² actually stands for "the speed of the fastest" and, as it turns out, that's neutrinos, not photons.
  3. Sixty feet out of 450 miles is really too close to call.
  4. If a meter is the distance light travels in a certain number of seconds, and a second is the time it takes light to travel a certain distance, we're arguing in circles.
  5. Did you consider quantum mechanics? Maybe the cat was already dead.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

On Violence and Sloth

Two must-reads for the weekend:

Steven Pinker on the decline of violence and John Derbyshire on the dignity of sloth. In WSJ Weekend and Taki’s Magazine, respectively.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Pocket Knife

pocket_knife_thumb.jpgA gift from my youngest daughter many years ago and in my right front pocket ever since. It's been through a couple of blacktail deer and at least a thousand ribeye steaks. Occasionally I wash it.

Update: Greg emailed me a photo of his.

“I was given my first Victorinox in 1971 and I’ve carried one ever since. This is my third, and I couldn’t resist the geekiness of the altimeter/thermometer. I have especially enjoyed the irony of doing maintenance on million dollar instruments with a Swiss Army Knife.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


vegemite.pngAustralian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd never goes anywhere without it.

Get yourself a four-pack here.

Via Taranto.

Update! Dave (formerly OregonGuy) says he saw it at Costco. Yeah, but who wants a two pound bucket of it?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Re-Revisionist History & Etc.

A little tab clearing here; no news, just jotting down some references for future use.

Arthur Herman in The Weekly Standard dismantled the conventional wisdom that World War Two ended the Great Depression. Quite the opposite, he says; it actually prolonged it.

Mark Tooley in The American Spectator reviewed the work of a Scholars Commission in debunking the 200 year old claim that Thomas Jefferson got Sally Hemmings pregnant. Some Jefferson did; the DNA evidence proved that much, but almost certainly not Thomas Jefferson.

And Takuan Seiyo in an amusing article entitled Gelded Men and Insane Socialist Women made an off-hand reference to Lysistrata by Aristophanes. Why isn't this play performed more often? It seems to me as good as anything by Shakespeare.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Traffic Cones

Step 1: Say something disparaging about the President.
Barrack O’Bama is only half negro — the other half is pure blarney.
Step 2: Go turn yourself in.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Same Thing Happened To Me


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thinking About Preparedness

all_power_3500w.jpgYesterday I stopped and took a look at the All-Power 3500 Watt Portable Generator down at our local discount warehouse. They have it for $340, cheaper than online. It's also available in a propane model.
Greg pointed out that there are pros and cons to propane. On the one hand propane has a longer shelf life than gas. On the other hand it burns a lot hotter, so cooling is important. In the long run, though (and some crisis scenarios run longer than others), I think that gasoline — or usable equivalents — will still be available months after the last propane tanks have run out.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years On

December 7, 1951, came and went with scant ceremony. Harry Truman spent the day vacationing in Key West. Alben Barkley gave a speech in Honolulu in which he defended the war in Korea. Time magazine skipped the Pearl Harbor anniversary altogether: Its cover story that week was a lengthy profile of DeWitt and Lila Wallace. The Daily Double goes to the reader who can identify Barkley or the Wallaces without first turning to Google.
Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nothing to Commemorate

John Derbyshire's take on 11 September 2011.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day at the Beach

labor_day_sand_castle_thumb.jpgWe drove to Brookings for the afternoon. The fog came and went but the sun shone through. The sand was warm and there was no wind.

We built a sand castle, waded in the surf, and ate tuna salad on crackers. We explored the tide pools and hiked to the top of the butte. Afterward we sat on the sand and watched the tide come in as we sipped our wine and read our books.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

On Going Back to Prison

If my confinement does anything to encourage any of the other victims of this awful system, it is an honor. And I continue to believe, as I quoted Henry D. Thoreau in this space when I first reported to prison in March 2008, that "under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison." I don't have much choice, as I would never consider fleeing, but in that one sense, I belong there and am happy to return.
Conrad Black in National Review Online.